Friday, December 31, 2010

2010

 (Another photo from 2010. I love it because I got so close to this creature with my little point and shoot and I got lucky with the focus because I'm sure my hands were shaking :)

I guess today is the time for a few thoughts about 2010. It was a spectacular year and in many ways I don't want it to end.
The first six months were pure adventure. Home to the UK for the first time in more than 3 years, seeing all the family, new babies and old faces :) Three months living in rural France: I think one of my fav things in France was actually trying to set up our disastrous and expensive internet service. I worked through the handbook with my little French dictionary and translated every word. We explored the rugged coastline and mystical hinterland. I saw Paris through the eyes of a mother and couldn't have been prouder of our two amazing children going to school and making new friends even though they missed their home and other friends (in Canada).
And then traversing the UK from one end to the other and back again cramming in as many visits as possible. It was exhausting and brilliant. We visited the Normandy Beaches (France), Stonehenge, Culloden, Edinburgh Castle, St. Andrews, Anstruther, Shrewsbury, Inverness, the Pennines, Hadrian's Wall, Loch Lomond, Cumbria, Ironbridge and many more places--we were so lucky to be able to do this although it wasn't easy trying to work at the same time. After that we flew back to Canada and the isolated but grand beauty of Vancouver Island. It took a little getting used to--that 75 km long logging road was a b***h--and the proximity to bears is not something I'd ever take for granted. But it was fun--even getting rescued by the coastguard was a thrill LOL. Seeing two writing buddies and Whistler, the summer after the Olympics. All monumental experiences. And then my epic trek back across Canada in our shuddering car with the kids and an amazing friend of mine who turned hell into happiness. Not many people have that gift--especially with me.
Coming home was another flurry of activity, unpacking the house mowing the two foot high lawn where bunnies hopped, getting back to 'normal.'
Family life was pretty exciting in 2010.

Writing wise--I managed to do edits on two full length manuscripts while on the road. Both stories were published as ebooks and audiobooks by Carina Press. That was huge. That was the high point publishing-wise. Agent-wise it's been a little frustrating. I have a full manuscript with two agents and another request for a partial of the same manuscript. That's good but the time lag is frustrating (it's been a year in one case). I understand why, I believe clients should always come first but it doesn't ease the waiting time. I've also been waiting on another submission to Harlequin Intrigue for about a year. The main problem there was it never arrived from France (the things that suck in France tend to be communication systems) and I had to resend in the summer after I checked up on the status.
I started one new project which I shelved early on and then concentrated on a different story set in a remote and mysterious part of Afghanistan (because that's what all the editors are buying. *rolls eyes.* Not). It's a romance based around an SAS soldier and a snow leopard biologist. I'm enjoying the story but making it as good on paper as it is in the vision in my head is an impossible task. I have other stories begging to be told but they'll have to wait.
In addition to everything else this year we became Canadian citizens. We welcomed a new dog into our home. DH built a fantastic deck. Not too shabby. There are changes pending in 2011 that I don't want to think about. Tonight we have a party to say 'Hello' to the new year in style. Hope you're somewhere celebrating too.  Stay safe and warm, don't do anything stupid, and make sure you kiss someone you love  at midnight.
XOXOX

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

It's about time I came out of hibernation and posted a picture of Christmas morning. The day was a huge success with lots of presents, food and drink. I had asked my son's favorite thing about Christmas. He laughed and said presents. Then he thought carefully and said, "And the food. Not because of the food, but because God loves us enough for us to have it."
No idea where that came from but I thought it was a sweet sentiment. I guess he realizes how lucky we are and how little some families have. :(

DH bought me an eReader--which is awesome. I also got lots of print books so the world is all good and I don't know what to read first. 
Tomorrow we are hosting a big party with a live band. Not sure where Holly is going. Either in basement or to a friend's house. She's been great, even skiing with DH.
This morning we went for a FREEZING walk/ski on the golf course up the road. It was so cold (-34C windchill) that I actually ran lots.
Me. Running!
I'm not a big fan of New year but DH loves it and I love him. Wish me luck! Are you going out? Staying in? Excited? Depressed? Why is NY such an emotional time or is it just me?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holly-days!!!

Christmas Wishes 
Happy Holly-days 
to everyone!!!

Signing out--have fun and stay safe!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lame

I've been a little lame lately at blogging. I guess that's what happens when you adopt a new dog 2 weeks before Christmas and then have to try and get a ITIN from the IRS etc etc.Plus I've been heavily involved in a new group blog for a bunch of Mystery/Suspense/Romantic Suspense called NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS. Authors are giving away books almost everyday and it is my turn on the 23rd!

Life is good though. The weather relatively mild. The Christmas festivities vaguely in hand. The writing isn't exactly speeding along but hopefully I'll get some more done this week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photos of 2010--Spey Bay


Worst thing about Winnipeg?

It isn't the temps or the bugs. It is the drivers!
I was the designated driver for DH's Christmas do.  We drove home about 8 pm after a couple of cans of ginger ale. About 3 blocks from home I stopped at traffic lights and I'm in the middle lane because there are often parked cars on the inside lane. On Friday however there were no cars parked. Knowing I needed to get over to get my exit I started to indicate to move into the inside lane.

What would ANY sane driver do?

Doesn't matter what they'd do. A Winnipegger will speed up until they are level with your car and stay there. When you eventually slow down to slip in behind them, they roar ahead and when you move into the inside lane, they put there brakes on and travel at 20 km and hour. I have no idea who teaches these people to drive but they'd kill people in most cities in the world.

Happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Photos of 2010

Not Your Usual Suspects

Today we launch something very special. A group of 14 Carina Press mystery, suspense and romantic suspense authors have gotten together for a new blog. Join us for the 12 days of Christmas launch with daily prizes.


What I especially like is the diversity of authors, the international flavor and the broad spectrum of our writing. Come join in the fun every day up to Christmas and comment to get the chance to win a prize!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photos of 2010

I thought in the run up to Christmas and 2011 I'd repost some of my favourite pictures from 2010. But like vitamins, just one a day :)  You should enlarge them to get the full impact (chortle).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

STORM WARNING released as an audiobook today!

Sorcha Logan is looking for peace.

Recently returned to her hometown on Scotland’s craggy coast, Sorcha wants to tame the spirits that made her flee. When she finds a corpse in the surf, however, she can’t suppress the memory of discovering her father’s body. Nor can she suppress the ghosts that haunt her—or the town’s conviction that she’s dangerous, and a witch.


Ben Foley is looking for a killer.


An American DEA agent, Ben is in town to investigate the suspicious death of his partner. He’s sure that Sorcha knows more than she’s letting on—but the more time he spends with the sexy suspect, the less he can fight their illicit attraction. And the less certain he is she’s involved with a drug cartel.


But can Ben protect Sorcha from being set up? Or worse—killed?

BUY LINK or listen to a sample at Audible.com

(Quick note--I'm having internet problems JFYI)

Le Chat Noir

I've finally managed to organize my life. I have framed a load of photos from our six months in Europe and also framed the posters we bought in Paris.

Le Chat Noir is ubiquitous in Paris, but while it might lose its appeal when touring the tourist hot spots, back home in my downstairs loo it looks pretty damn fine :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Decorations


The kids were off on Friday and desperate to get into the Christmas decorations. It's a little early for us in the year really but we went with it. We weren't quite prepared for the 6:00 a.m. wake up call from our son ready to decorate the Christmas tree. Or the next 8 hours of insanity while everything was unpacked and hung and put away. Or the frostbite from putting up the lights outside. But I think it was worth it.

It was strange unpacking things we hadn't seen for 2 years (we were in the UK last year). Nostalgic to know that the last time we'd put up the tree the dog had helped :)

The final ornament that went on the tree was this...happy memories.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Snowball Effect

Tonight I was knackered because of this stupid head cold but decided to make some spaghetti sauce rather than wilt on the couch. And then the kids wanted chops, so I made us chops and decided to save the sauce for another night. And then when pulling the veggies out the fridge and it was a bit yucky so figured I'd just clean the fridge, and then I needed to set the fire, and do homework with the kids, and pay the VISA. Oh, and another kid had popped over for a play day so they had lots of tidying up to do.

Phew.

Next time it is Mac N' Cheese!!!!